Raquel Esperanza Knecht
Yolanda Frazao Sophie Gach
History of chocolate
As everyone may not know, chocolate has an exotic origin. Indeed, the first people to consume chocolate were the Hispanic civilizations such as the Mayas or the Aztecs. It’s logical because the tree that produces the cacao beans grows in tropical area. Central America is a place where those plants can find all they need to grow well. Some archaeologist proved that cacao beans were already consumed by humans from 1100 to 1400 B.C. Those beans were used in the fabrication of a beverage that was not yet chocolate. They used to make the beans ferment and collect the liquid. Some time later, chocolate was created.
At first, precolonial civilizations used to produce it as a sweet drink. At that end of the that period, it was a luxurious drink in the whole Mesoamerican area. People were even using it as currency instead of money because it was considered really precious. The Mayas were not using money at all, but cacao beans and xocoalt (the name of their preparation). The preparation of the chocolate drink was changing from one location to another. When Aztecs were more into spicing the beverage, Mayas would add vanilla or sugar to sweeten it. The primitive form of chocolate was also used as gift to the chiefs of the tributes, to the gods and goddesses. Aztects were associating chocolate with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of the fertility. It was a really valuable element of their culture.
Then Christopher Columbus discovered America and so chocolate also. Most of the Europeans didn’t like it at first because they found it too bitter, but later, it became a truly popular product in the Spanish court. Some sweet producers tried to find a way to make it more tasty. In all over Europe, chocolate became a really well-liked candy, but it’s in Switzerland that a great candy maker found the perfect balance and created the chocolate as we all know it now.
History of the brands
Lindt & Sprüngli
The story begins in 1845. The confectioner, David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his inventive son, Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann, own a small confectionery shop in the Marktgasse of Zurich’s Old Town.
They decide to be the first ones in the German speaking part of Switzerland to manufacture chocolate in a solid form. Even at that time, as many as ten workers were employed.
In 1859, Sprüngli and Son opened a second and larger confectionery and refreshment room on Zurich’s Paradeplatz.
When Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann retired from commerce in 1892, he had acquired a widespread reputation for the quality of his products and as an expert in his field. He divided the business between his two sons: The younger, David Robert, received the two confectionery stores. The elder brother, Johann Rudolf Sprüngli-Schifferli, received the chocolate factory from his father.To raise the necessary finances, he converted his private company into ”Chocolat Sprüngli AG” and at the same time he was offered the option of acquiring the small, but famous, chocolate factory of Rodolphe Lindt in Bern. So how was Lindt born?
It was in 1879. Rodolphe Lindt, the son of a Bernese pharmacist, wanted to make chocolate. “Do you know what chocolate was like at the time? It was hard: hard to process and hard to eat.” So he bought an old factory hall with antiquated machines. Unfortunately, nothing was working. He wanted to give up when.. came that Friday evening he was about to leave the factory without having finished his work – and more importantly, without having switched off the machines. Did he forget to do because he was in such a hurry? Or was it intentional? Did he have a hunch or was it a small act of defiance? We don’t know. But the machine continued to run: for a whole weekend. When Rodolphe Lindt entered his factory on the following Monday morning, he was initially shocked. But what he found in the stirring tank was anything but hard, burnt chocolate mass. It shone; it smelt wonderful, and when he tasted some of it, he was the first person ever to experience how chocolate melts in the mouth. He was in seventh heaven.
At the beginning of twentieth-century, Belgians, with the colonial expansion, were interested in the discovery of new flavours and particularly the chocolate. Côte d’Or was created in 1983 by Charles Newhouse. The name comes from, “La Côte d’Or”, which is now the country of Ghana, where the cacao beans were picked.
The elephant with an upturned trunk in the logo was designed in 1906 and has become one of world’s most loved and recognized chocolate brands.
In 1987, Jacobs Suchard purchased Cote d’Or. Kraft Foods purchased Jacobs Suchard in 1990. In 1911, Côte d’Or launched the first Côte d’Or chocolate bar. In 1930, Côte d’Or grew its business abroad thanks to the universal exhibition. From 1940 to 1946, the brand Congobar replaces Côte d’Or especially because of the second world war. In 2005, new flavors were created, more exotics thanks to the new commitment of the brand, the fair-trade, and that’s the brand we all know nowadays.
Let’s start with some facts about chocolate production.
Did you know that…
… the largest factory is the Hershey Chocolate Factory in the USA?
… not Lindt, but Teuscher is the largest Factory in Switzerland and the second largest of the world?
… the third largest factory in the world is Godiva Chocolatier in Belgium?
Lindt & Sprüngli – Kirchberg, Switzerland
Lindt gets its cocoa beans from Central America and east Africa. They are harvested by hand and carefully selected. The workers check if all of the cocoa beans can be used for Lindts production and after they ship the cocoa to the different factories all around the world. In these factories, they process cocoa in the varied kinds of chocolate Lindt has.
Factories: – Kilchberg, Switzerland – Induno Olona, Italy – San Francisco, USA – New Hampshire, USA – Aachen, Germany
The biggest production facility is the one in Aachen, which means that most of the Lindt Chocolate is produced in Germany and not in Switzerland.
Côte d’Or – Halle, Belgium
Côte d’Or has its cocoa beans mostly from Ghana. That is why the brand is called Côte d’Or (Gold coast) referring to the old name of contemporary Ghana. In 2001, Côte d’Or had been continued questioned about their ethical stance because the media discovered that in their cocoa farms children worked. After the bad publicity, they joined the Rainforest Alliance Certified. It is an organization from Kraft Foods that makes sure that there is no child labour or bad working conditions. Côte d’Or was one of the first to join this organization. In contrast to Lindt, they sort the beans out in the different production facilities all around the world.
Factories: – France – Netherlands – Great Britain – USA
Chocolate is one of most underestimated businesses in the world. The worldwide consumption of chocolate each year is 7.2 million tons and 50% occurs on the European continent. So, as you can see, the chocolate business is booming. The annual estimate sales of chocolate around the world contribute 83 billion dollars to the global economy.
What do you think is the top chocolate consumption holiday in America? To be honest, I thought is must be Valentine’s Day or Easter, but it is actually Halloween. During Halloween, people buy and consume over 90 million pounds. In the second and third places are Easter with 71 million tons and Valentine’s Day with 48 million tons. So if you add everything together, in total, people in America consume over 210 million pounds just during three holidays.
On an average Valentine’s Day nearly $400 million of is purchased on chocolate around the world. In numbers, this is 5% of the industry sales.
Except the Asian countries, chocolate is sold the most in every other
country in the world. For example, the top four chocolate consumption countries in the world are Switzerland with 8,8kg per person (19,4lb), Austria with 8.1 kg (17,9lb), Germany with 7.9 kg (17,4lb) and Belgium with 5.6 kg (12,3lb) per person. Can you imagine that they eat so much chocolate alone? Let me give you an example that you can imagine this number better. That means one average person from Switzerland eats 88 Lindt chocolate bars a year.
As you already know, Switzerland produces most of their chocolate in Germany. That is the reason why Germany is the biggest exporter of chocolate products on the world with $3.8 billion a year. In the second place is Belgium with $2.6 billion and France with $1.6 billion. On the other side, the top three importers of chocolate are the USA with $2.5 billion, Germany with $2.4 billion and France with $2.4 billion as well.
So which chocolate is really the best? Belgian or Swiss chocolate?
By Carl Blomberg, Sweden
Global trade and cooperation across borders has been shown to be crucial for nations all over the world. Ever since the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, where 44 allied nations agreed on a new global monetary system, trade interdependence has benefited countries on all continents, causing expanding economies and improving standards of living. One of global trade’s most prominent players though, China, has for a long time remained low profile in international matters. The nation has implemented former leader Deng Xiaoping’s words ‘’hide your strengths, bide your time’’. Until now. With one of the largest and most comprehensive infrastructure projects ever, called the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s position in global matters is expected to move towards the very center. What is the Belt and Road Initiative, and more importantly; how will it impact the world and international relations?
In order to answer the above-mentioned questions, we will have to take a giant leap back in time, all the way to 130 B.C. and the introduction of the Silk Road – an ancient network for trade and commerce. The Silk Road stretched four thousand miles, from east and central Asia all the way to Europe, through India and the Middle East. The various routes that together formed the Silk Road promoted trade and had a large impact on participating nations. It brought great benefits in communication and movement of goods, services and ideas, and, as a whole, the network increased cooperation and commerce between nations significantly. From China, the Europeans received goods such as silk, spices and medicine. In return, the Chinese could trade for grapevines, horses and animal fur. Consequently, the Silk Road was an early example of globalization.
When Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Chinese communist party, first initiated the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative at the Association of Southeast Nations summit in 2013, it was with the idea of rebuilding the ancient trade network in a new modern take. According to the World Bank, the Belt and Road project, also referred to as the One Belt One Road Project or just BRI, ‘’is an ambitious effort to improve regional cooperation and connectivity on a trans-international scale’’. Furthermore, the World Bank explains that the large investment effort will involve multiple different trade routes, both on sea and land. Altogether, they aim to strengthen infrastructure, trade and investment links between China and approximately 70 other nations committed to BRI so far.
The population of the countries involved amount to 4.4 billion people. This, in turn, are equivalent to more than 60 percent and almost two thirds of the entire world’s population. Committed countries, coming from Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, together constitute one third of the global economy. According to ChinaPower’s article ‘’How Will the Belt and Road Initiative advance China’s Interests?’’, the estimated cost of infrastructure needs in the developing parts of the Asia-Pacific exceeds 25 trillion dollars through year 2030. Already in 2017 China had pledged 1 trillion dollars to the project.
Given the size of this broad and highly prestigious investment, it is not difficult to understand that opinions of both the positive and negative kind have occurred following its beginning. Proponents of the BRI argue that not only China will benefit from the deal, but also many of the less developed participating nations. During the past four decades China’s growing economy has enabled more than 800 million people to improve their standards of living, going from extreme poverty to a more stable economic situation. With the BRI China’s economy is expected to grow further. Also, BRI allows China to move up in the global value chain and gives the nation geostrategic advantages. On a bigger scale, BRI possesses the potential to help poor countries improve their infrastructure and enhance connectivity to the rest of the world. Thereby, they get a chance to increase commerce and enrich their relations to other nations.
Despite the mentioned benefits, there has been, and still is, strong resistance towards the project. United States, together with Germany and other European nations, are a few influential actors that have raised concern and opposition towards the BRI. But why? Well, one reason is that mentioned nations view the project as Chinese expansionism. The main controversy following the BRI has been that less developed countries, that are in deep need of infrastructure improvements, agree to large loans issued by China. That way they are are put in debt, which they, in turn, might be incapable of paying back. When borrowing nations are not able to return the loan, China gain access and ownership in the actual investments, for instance ports or railroads. Among others, this has been the case in Malaysia, Montenegro and Laos. According to Business Insider, Malaysian president Mahathir Mohamed even cancelled further Chinese-funded BRI projects in the country in order to prevent Malaysia from ending up in unsustainable debt.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a very versatile and complex project, and thus only time can tell whether it will be a global success or a vast failure. At present it is easy to argue for both cases. To date, questions remain for instance on how the US and the EU will treat the matter; European nations such as Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Russia and Switzerland have all joined in to cooperate in BRI, but will there be more to come? Does Washington, with president Trump leading the way, have to oppose themselves to this project, or could the US actually take part in the BRI and gain economical benefits? And how will the BRI affect China, and other committed nations? These are just a few of all the questions following the development and progress of the Belt and Road Initiative. In all uncertainty, though, two things are for sure: One, that the BRI will change the economic environment and geopolitical relations in the world. Two, that China are done hiding their strength, and biding their time.
By: Johannes, 5/9/2019
According to 2016’s statistics, Denmark is the happiest country in the world and there are probably many reasons for that. It could be the country’s strong history with great author, poets and philosophers. It could be the unique weather only appearing in Denmark, or it could be something completley else. To get a better understanding of Denmark and its happiness, the following cultural and political factors might be a part the explanation:
“Money can buy material things, but real happiness must be truly earned” are words spoken by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1750. But one thing that Rousseau did not mention is the fact that money definitely makes the way to happiness shorter. The strong Danish economy is one of the main reasons why Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries, the world has ever seen. According to analysts, Denmark has the 39th largest economy in the world and the country’s GDP is slightly less than 300 billion dollars on a yearly basis. The numbers are very impressive considering Denmark’s population is less than 6 millions and it gives Denmark a spot among the 20 best countries when it comes to GDP pr. Capita. It makes the citizens in charge of a big purchasing power that helps the entire economy to run smoothly. It lowers the number of unemployment and it gives the individual citizen the ability to not worry about their own personal economic situation, which might be a reason why Danes are in a situation where they have the energy to enjoy what life is really about.
Nordic social model:
In the early 1960’s, Danish politicians started what we today know as the Danish welfare state. It is a system consisting of high taxes and a large number of public services, and it is widely recognized to be among the top reasons why Denmark is one of the happiest countries. The average Dane pays 45% in income tax while some individuals under special circumstances pay up to 60% in income tax. Many people around the world will probably ask themselves why Denmark as a whole is satisfied with their tax rate but statistics show that 90% of all Danes happily pay their taxes. The answer to the satisfaction is simple: it is an investment in the Danish people’s future and safety. The hospitals in Denmark are among the best in the world and everyone has access to them in case of an emergency. Furthermore, universities are totally free to attend and students get paid an amount of roughly 1000 dollars every month while they are studying. These are just a few of the best examples of what Danes receive from the public sector and the result from that is less inequality between the over class and middle class which definitely increases the happiness for the general Dane.
What impact does architecture have on us as human beings? The biological answer is that the brain releases endorphins when we look on something we like. But scientists also suggest, that it creates a deeper connection between people sharing the same architecture. Denmark has a proud history of great architects who have impacted Denmark and the rest of the world alike. Most Danish cities are dominated by Renaissance architecture, where buildings like Borsen, Rosenborg Castle and Frederiksborg Palace are great examples of that. This old style mixed with modern buildings from Bjarke Ingels (best known for designing Two World Trade Center) and Jorn Utzon (designer of the Opera House of Sydney) makes cities like Aarhus and Copenhagen really beautiful and enjoyable for even the hardest critic. But architecture is not just about a nice look. It gives the Danish population something to gather around and is an essential part of understanding what being Dane is all about. It is a fundamental pillar for people to stay happy and many Danes definitely take advantage of that.
“Hygge” is described as “A Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cozy, charming or special”. For Danes it is not just a foreign word or an indescribable feeling but a part of their DNA. It is a cornerstone of the Danish culture and it has been around in the country for 1000’s of years since it comes from the Old Nordic language (hyggja), originally meaning “to think”. In American popular culture, “hygge” is always connected to a cozy cabin with a small fireplace and pot full of hot cocoa, but for Danes the word means way more. The entire society is more or less build around “hygge” and everywhere you go you see small coffee houses with only one purpose: to provide Danes with a “hygge”-chat over a cup of “hygge”-coffee. In general, Danes seek their “hygge”-moments as often as possible and in many cases it is all about the small everyday moments that results in “hygge”. It gives the ability to enjoy a stressed out everyday life and is for sure a contributory factor to the happiness of Denmark.
Low crime rates:
The fact that your family and best friends are safe and sound is an important part of your happiness. In Denmark, safety is not really a daily life issue since reports consistently show that Denmark is a top 5 country when it comes to safest countries on earth. It means that the Danish people do not have to fear criminals when they leave their houses and therefore it is easier to enjoy life. Furthermore, Denmark is considered the least corrupt country in the world, which is super important as well. It is the main reason why the Danes are more willing to trust their politicians, which helps the society to be a place where people in general trust each other. It lowers the amount of inequality, which definetly benefits the average person and the overall happiness.
Nellie Robertsson, Sweden
For several years teachers have been preaching that there is no easy way to earn good grades, that the key to success is simply hard work and late evenings with repetitive homework. However, is this all of the truth?
Neuroscientists have for many years informed us about the benefits of physical exercise and, if combined with learning, there will be positive effects on your memory skills. These positive effects first emerged in a research during the 1970s when researchers examined the possibility that exercise could be a support therapy for mentally ill patients. The researchers were examining mice and their performance in a maze task. Before the task, some of the mice were able to run on a wheel and the researchers instantly revealed that these particular mice performed much better in the maze task than the mice who did’nt use the wheel. This was the first indication that physical exercise does effect how the brain operates.
Although, does this mean that we need to take a long run before every class to enhance our chances of better grades in school? No. Recent research demonstrate that a few simple exercises during or before class can improve your ability to memorize things and help the brain to make faster conclusions.
Here’s a few simple exercise to perform in the classroom to enhance your learning:
- Star Jumps
- Take a quick walk to a nearby cafe and grab a coffee before class
- A few squats up and down from your chair
- High knees
- Jump around on one foot
So do yourself a favor, take a minute to do one of these simple exercises and you will both save time and improve your grades at the same time.
Nina Mundwiler and Melanie Galera, Switzerland
In order to avoid any other killings in schools, the Florida State Parliament approved a law that would allow teachers to arm themselves. This measure still has to be proved, since is it extremely controversial.
The purpose of this new law is to prevent any further killings, since what happened in the Parkland High school, where a student shot 17 people on February 14 2018.
This law was approved on Wednesday 5/1/2019 by 65 against 47 in the Florida House of Representatives. The law says that teachers may arm themselves on a voluntary basis, after having completed 144 hours of training in the use of weapons.
“The recipe for a tragedy”
Opponents argue that the solution to gun violence cannot be to allow more firearms. They are concerned about the danger of accidents. Teachers might have to face once an urgent situation with real police officers and could be mistaken for a dangerous shooter or even just make a false manipulation that could inflame the situation. A person that is not well trained to face this kind of situation can easily make matters worse.
“Arming teachers is the recipe for a tragedy” said Florida Democrat Representative Val Demings. “The real solution is to keep weapons out of reach of harmful hands.” After the Parkland killings, President Donald Trump proposed to arm teachers in the United States, and also refused to consider banning assault rifles, a type of lethal weapon used on the day of the massacre.
by Santiago Bustos, Colombia
In every particular time in history, the concept of art has changed as a result of the human conception, it goes beyond our need of communicating and reach the void between our need to feel comprehend. Beginning with the first art expressions appeared in the paleolithic, the art evolve through the different civilizations, bond to our perspective of the world; reaching in modernity the concept that everything could be art. Therefore, if everything can be art nowadays, what defines art?
We used to think that art could be everything that shows our reality or at least the way we see it, showing in periods as the renaissance, almost identical paintings of a determine subject, such as bodies or nature. But in the other hand, with the creation of the camera, we lost the value of that art, because we could be able to capture the real life without any chance of making a mistake, so it was likely to think that art would cease to exist because it wasn’t useful anymore, even thought, it didn’t. Instead, art evolve to a new concept in modernity, redefined as every way of expression needed in the human behavior.
However, with the rebirth of art, our artistic creation went through its second crisis; art began to rebel against itself by manipulating our conception of beauty. Expression represent us, even the things we couldn’t express about ourselves (such as the abstract art) and show that our expressions are almost everything we want them to be, going from pictures of an urinal to a soup can. But, if the same soup we buy at a supermarket was the soup we pay for seeing in a museum, it seems illogical to keep appreciating art, because, in some way, everything could turn into art and also the world itself is already a piece of art.
On the other hand, even if art could be everything, it doesn’t mean that art loses meaning or importance; art could still be whatever we want it to be and still be precious, because it continues to have a technique and a process that keeps reflecting our nature, and trying to define it is as difficult as defining our nature.
Amanda Schnidrig, Switzerland
Finding the right terminal in an airport you have only been to once before in your life is difficult, especially if there are no signs leading you.
When I first arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport, I was lost. I knew I had to go to the John Bradley Terminal to find someone with an EF-sign to pick me up. This happened to be quite difficult because I could not manage to figure out where exactly at the airport I was.
I had just left the airplane and started my first journey all alone. But, as soon as I left the immigration station behind me, I had no idea where to go. I was able to find a customers service desk and the friendly woman there told me that I was actually at the right terminal. I wanted to thank her and look for my transfer, but the woman was faster and started to page them. When she finished, she immediately called the emergency number, without waiting for the transfer to react. I told her that I had only been there for a couple minutes, but she had already started calling. As soon as they picked up the phone I saw a young woman with a pink EF-sign walking towards us. I told the woman at the customers service desk that I could see the EF transfer person and thanked the woman at the desk for helping me.
The young woman with the EF-sign told me to wait there until another student arrived. She came back about half an hour later with a Japanese girl. Before we were able to start driving to Santa Barbara, our driver had to fill up the car with gas. The driver told me that it was her first time using this car. Unfortunately, she had no idea how to gas up. First, she picked the wrong side and had to re park the car. After she had tried for 10 minutes to fill up the car, she looked for help. Two employees came and tried to help her, but no one seemed to be able to solve the problem.
About an hour after we had left the airport, we were still at a filling station near the airport, but somehow they managed to fill up the car. And finally, we were able to start our drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.
We drove for about two hours and first I talked to the Japanese girl, but then I was too tired and hungry. I tried to sleep in the car because on my twelve hours flight I had not slept very much. Half an hour before we arrived I had to call my host family. The father picked up the phone and seemed to be very friendly.
When we arrived in Santa Barbara, the driver accompanied me to the door. When I first entered my new home, the father of my host family welcomed me and gave me something to eat. Shortly after, my new roommate came downstairs. She introduced herself and told me that this was going to be the best time in my life. I was also introduced to the other two EF-students living in the same house. I was too tired to remember all of these new names afterwards.
As soon as my head started hurting, the mother returned with her five year old son. He is really cute, but also very loud. He hugged me and asked if I wanted some candy. I thanked him and went to sleep.
It was a really hard day, but I was very excited for the next day to start school.
Nina Mundwiler and Melanie Galera, Switzerland
The perfect getaway to sightseeing, partying and eating good food is for sure Barcelona!
Barcelona is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea and it registers a little bit more than 1.5 millions inhabitants. The climate is Mediterranean which allows you to spend your entire day at the beach from May until October! But why lay the whole day there when you could discover all the deep Catalonian culture just by strolling on the streets? Of course, everyone has already heard about La Rambla street and La Barceloneta Beach because those sites are the most well-known, but continue scrolling down this article to discover hidden little places that any other travel guide won’t show you!
Where to eat when in Barcelona ?
There’s nothing like a good brunch to start your day off right. If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy brunch, The Tropico is your place. The interior has a beachy vibe and it has a cool atmosphere.
Take a tapas break on the steps of the Rambla at The Boquería Market, which is often described as a cathedral of the senses. You will find fresh seafood, jamon, fruits, vegetables, candies… In addition, there are dozens of tapas bars where you can stop to eat.
Churrería Laietana is one of the most famous places in Barcelona that serves the real Spanish churros, “porras” which are thicker than churros, with chocolate.
End your long day at the Pez Vela right on the beachfront -High quality Spanish food and tasty paella. The perfect spot to begin your Barcelona nightlife adventure.
What to do when in Barcelona ?
For sports passionate people, Barcelona is also one of the best European cities! FC Barcelona, better known as Barça, is one of the greatest soccer clubs of all times, full of history and with a really bright future! The Barcelona adventure would not be complete without having a glimpse inside the Camp Nou, this 99,000 seat amazing stadium. If you are lucky and ready to spend a good part of your travel budget for it, buy a ticket and immerse yourself in the Catalonian culture and attend a game! That is one of the most vibrant experiences you can ever have.
La Barceloneta walkway along the beach is obviously one of the standard places to visit in Barcelona. Spending the day lying on the beach or riding a segway along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea is a must and you will absolutely enjoy it and have a lot of fun during your day, either with your family or with some friends. Not only will you find a lot of typical little restaurants, but also ice cream or fruit sellers with nothing but their little barrow full of yummy snacks.
The Parc Güell is probably one of the most colorful sites in Barcelona. Having a walk inside the masterpiece of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi is so invigorating. All those different kinds of trees and multi-coloured mosaics add a lot of charm and character to the site. You will also enjoy a really magical view of the whole city and be able to see the bay and the sea far ahead. The Parc also houses a wide variety of wildlife and a lot of birds which is an amazing place to take unforgettable pictures!
The church Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi, is one of the most emblematic symbols of Barcelona. After more than 100 years of construction, it is still in continuous renovation. It is for that reason that you will see many cranes spoiling the landscape… Take the time to stroll through the park which offers a breathtaking view of the monument, but also book tickets in advance on the website to skip the 3-hour long line and be able to enter quickly in this amazing and peaceful site. The sun shining through the stained-glass windows and the atmosphere is stunning. Everybody is respectful and quiet; that keeps the amazing holiness of this sacred site. If you are full of energy and the temperature is not too warm, take your courage and climb on the staircase of 400-steps to see this breathtaking view of Barcelona!
Nightlife in Barcelona
Have a drink with a view at the Skybar on the rooftop of the Grand Hotel Central. With its infinity pool and the impressive view of almost the whole city, it’s no surprise that this terrace doesn’t stay empty for long. The prices are relatively cheap compared to the other rooftop bars in Barcelona.
If you enjoy drinking, dancing and having a party, Port Olimpic Beach Clubs is the place to go during your vacation. Here are a string of lounge bars and nightclubs. To have a drink outside, opt for Shoko or CDLC. If you prefer just to have a drink and dance surrounded by a crazy crowd and good music, you should choose either Pacha, Opium or Catwalk. During the crowded season, it is recommended buying VIP passes in advance if you want to be sure to enter and to avoid the huge line at the same time. Chilling out at Ice Bar is also a really fun experience if you are more adventurous. This bar is completely made out of ice! You can even drink in iced glasses!
Our experience in Barcelona
Every time we have been there we had an amazing time. We visited all the places above-mentioned and we highly recommend them! At any time of the year this city has a little something more that you would never find somewhere else. Everybody is friendly with you and always ready to help. Do not panic if you are lost. Public transports are really easy to use, but you should be aware that punctuality is not always a big thing in Spain. But do not despair, your bus is in any case going to come in a few minutes… Download the application Citymapper on your phone. It is really easy to use and it gives you the precise schedules of every subway, bus or train!
We hope you will enjoy your trip there! You are absolutely welcome to comment on this article to tell us what you thought about the sites we recommended, and also if you would advise other places that could be added to our travel guide!
Beatrice from France
A person who writes for newspapers, magazines or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast defines a journalist. Their works are dedicated to helping people better understand the world. However, do you think that journalists should be more pedagogical? As Einstein says “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
First of all, I would like to share a video with you which shows geographical knowledge of random people. The question “Can you name a country?” was asked in the street.
Most of them don’t know a lot about geography. It seems difficult for them to understand what’s happening in the world, especially conflicts between countries if they don’t know where these countries are located.
How could some people understand an article about the Middle East conflict in Israel if they don’t know where it’s located and why there is a religious conflict ? How could people read an article about the Yemen war, or how people could understand why there is a civil war in Venezuela without geography ?
Maybe journalists should be more pedagogical and add more geographic and historic details. For example in this short CBSN news, some people will not understand the video if they don’t know where North Korea is located.
To understand the news clearly, the population should be also aware of the history of countries. In this example, it’s important to know that North Korea is located just across from the United States (look down at the map) and that’s why a big nuclear weapon could be a threat for the US population, especially when you know that Kim Jong-un might dare to execute even his own family member.
With the same idea, maybe journalists could add not only maps but also time lines. For instance, how could people understand a story easily about the Middle East conflict which started with the first global world war? Journalists should explain it easily with time facts because the history always explains why that started and why it’s continuing. Look down at this example of timeline.
It is the only example that I could find online. However, even this timeline which explains all facts of the US policy and interventions in the Middle East is not clear. That’s the reason why journalists should be more pedagogical.
Nowadays, most of the people are discouraged to read international news. Even if 56% of the Americans are reading newspapers, some of them don’t understand news publications. Some others also can’t read at all. That could be because they don’t have access to the internet or just because they never have the chance to be at school. However, people should know how our world works if they want to vote well or change some aspects.
Finally, the journalists are the only people who can impact the population’s opinions and influence people’s minds. Nowadays, journalists lose their readers because the articles and the news are not pedagogical enough. Everyone can remember the 16th June 2015, when Donald Trump won the American presidential republican election in New York. It was a big surprise ! We could have asked ourselves why the Americans voted for him at this time even if the majority of newspapers supported Hilary Clinton?